How I learned to love dogs

I didn’t want a bloody dog. Son number one was already more or less settled in his new life in South Korea and son number two would be starting uni, this was going to mean freedom. I love my kids dearly but I wasn’t really anticipating an empty nest syndrome crisis, I was anticipating less laundry, washing up and general cleaning. I was anticipating cinema trips, eating dinner at anytime I liked going away for weekends. Mr was anticipating too much silence and the lack of entertainment value from me alone, and the cat was not going to cut the mustard on that front either (at thirteen she was already becoming a bit of a grumpy old lady). So Otis joined our household.

Growing up, we’d had two Labradors, Amy and Biggles (they were from Gatwick) but being one of four kids, my role was already set as the cat lady.

At first I was a little wary but he was just so calm, affectionate and generally adorable and ridiculous that there was no way I could imagine our life without him. I loved watching him grow from a tiny puppy to a big ole doggo. Then the worst happened. He was hit by a car going fast, no faster than anybody else driving on that road and died pretty instantly, we were devastated. The house fell silent again but this time I took no joy from peace, quiet and less responsibility.

There was no way the house could do without a doggo presence now and it took time for it to feel right but we decided to go for it and get another canine housemate. We considered a rescue dog but finding one that would get on with moody cat was near on impossible, so we settled on another Labrador puppy.

We’d already met Flo before lockdown and had a few weeks until she could join us and we both worried that we wouldn’t bond in the same way as we did with Otis. There was no need to worry. Flo, although the same breed, is very different. She’s a little more confident, a little lazier, but just as affectionate and ridiculous and I’m looking forward to bringing her into CB to meet everyone (apologies to those who aren’t keen on the critters).

Not to say I’m not still a cat lady as well, I like their indifference and inflexibility and you can’t beat a bit of purring, although I could do without the supposedly affectionate clawing. The cat, as is her want, has asserted her dominance by smacking the dog round the face several times and hissing, fair enough really. But you can’t expect her to run to you when called unless its food related and training a cat to fetch isn’t really on the cards.

Anyway, dogs, would recommend.